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Joe Russ

Joined 9 years ago from Kill Devill Hills, NC

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Joe Russ was born on Ft. Worth Texas and raised in the Richmond, Va. area. He graduated from Carson Newman College, near Knoxville, Tennessee in 1980. Career highlights include 1984 Best Male Vocalist award by the Virginia Country Music Association. In 1988, he moved to Nashville where he eventually had songs published by Charlie Pride's Pride Music, Loretta Lynn's King Coal Music and others.

He says his biggest thrill as a song writer was when Country Superstar George Jones put one of his songs on “hold”, which means it was under consideration for his next CD. Joe says that even though he didn't record it, just the fact that he liked one of his songs was a stamp of approval on his career that keeps him writing and pitching songs in Nashville even today. He also had interest from other record companies and recording artists.

He spent a year as the front man, band leader and bass player for Patsy Lynn, daughter of Country Music Superstar Loretta Lynn. He also entertained at Loretta’s Dude Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Patsy also recorded two of Joe's songs on the album she released that year. Patsy later joined her twin sister Peggy to perform and tour as The Lynns.

While living in Nashville he toured with artists such as Percy Sledge (When A Man Loves A Woman), The Impressions (People Get Ready, It's Alright), Dennis Yost (Spooky, Stormy), Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (Treat Her Like A Lady, It's Too Late To Turn Back Now) and others. His band also opened for Molly Hatchet, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Sawyer Brown and Ray Stevens on the Grand Ole Opry Stage. He says he loved his years in Nashville and got to perform with musicians who were playing with artists like Garth Brooks, B. J. Thomas, The Oak Ridge Boys, Stella Parton, Ray Stevens,

In October 2004, Joe met his wife Diane online and says he was smitten the first time they talked on the phone. They soon settled in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Diane, also a talented vocalist, joined him on stage there entertaining the hundreds of tourists that come every summer for vacation. He laughs and says it was clear early on that they liked her more than him, but he just smiles beaming with pride.

Joe and Diane continue to sing and write songs together, making trips to Nashville as often as they can to visit their daughter Sierra, 12, pitch new songs and perform at Writer's Nights. They plan to return to Nashville later this year.

Joe and Diane can be reached at russmediagroup@gmail.com

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